By Joyce Koh
Singaporean mixed martial arts firm One Championship is on track to obtain a valuation of about $1 billion in its latest round of funding, according to people with knowledge of the matter.
The lead investor in this round will account for more than half of the at least $100 million that One Championship is seeking, with the rest of the deal expected to close by the end of July, the people said, asking not to be identified as the process is private. The company plans to use proceeds to expand in China, South Korea and Japan, they said.
One Championship — on its way to becoming Asia’s biggest competitor to combat mashup Ultimate Fighting Championship — is focusing on expanding events, partnership deals and digital offerings, Chief Financial Officer Teh Hua Fung said in an interview this month. The organizer of fights such as Grit and Glory in Jakarta, Unstoppable Dreams in Singapore and Battle for the Heavens in Shanghai, is backed by firms including Sequoia India and Heliconia Capital Management, a unit of Singapore state investment firm Temasek Holdings Pte.
A representative for One Championship didn’t immediately respond to an email seeking comment. No final decisions have been made, and details of the fundraising could change, according to the people.
UFC’s success has helped draw investors to the sport. Last year, brothers Frank and Lorenzo Fertitta sold the company that controls UFC to WME-IMG for an eye-popping $4 billion.
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